New program to take students behind-the-scenes of the 2018 elections


Among the Eisenhower Institute’s new offerings for the fall 2018 semester is Decision 2018: The Midterm Elections. This special one-time program will bring Gettysburg College students together to learn about the political issues and operational challenges of the 2018 midterm elections, as well as their outcomes and consequences.

“I hope this program’s participants will gain a better understanding of the importance and power of Congress as a legislative body, how consequential often-overlooked down ballot elections can be, and the many factors that affect Congressional races,” said Ryan Woodward '12, one of the program’s two lead practitioners and the Senior Legislative Assistant for U.S. Representative Peter King.

A graduate of Gettysburg College and an alumnus of Inside Politics, Woodward has over ten years of experiencing working in policy and politics. During that time, he has worked for a Member of Congress, two Congressional Committees, and a U.S. Senator. In the past, he has also been active in politics closer to his alma mater, serving as a Committeeman on the Adams County Republican Committee.

Decision 2018 will be a collaboration between practitioners and scholars, giving students greater opportunities to bridge classroom learning and professional development. Woodward will be partnering with fellow practitioner Jamie Fleet ’02, Democratic Staff Director for the Committee on House Administration, and campus partner Dr. Bruce Larson, Professor of Political Science at Gettysburg College, to provide students with a careful look at campaign developments and the political stakes of the election.

Jamie Fleet speaks with Inside PoliticsEach student will select a competitive House race, learn about the district and its respective issues, and follow the race through Election Day. In the aftermath of the elections, students will explore what happened and what it means for not only Congress, but for the people of the United States. Students will also gain the valuable experience of meeting with professionals working on Capitol Hill and on campaigns during a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., in October.

By the time Decision 2018 concludes, Woodward believes that participants will have a better idea of the variety of opportunities available to them in the fields of politics and policy after they graduate from Gettysburg College. “I also hope to learn from the students and the perspectives they bring,” he added.

Applications are currently being accepted, the deadline being Wednesday, September 19. Gettysburg College students from any class year and major are encouraged to apply to this free program. Learn more about Decision 2018: The Midterm Elections on the application center found on The Eisenhower Institute’s website.